Dear Readers, it's been a few weeks now since Hayley Erin took over the role of Kiki Jerome, so I've tried really hard to keep an open mind. Admittedly, it was a little bit of an uphill battle, since I loved Kristen Alderson as Starr Manning, but I never really warmed to the character of Kiki Jerome. The reasons are numerous, but my primary issue is that I simply don't think Kiki serves a critical purpose on the show other than to give Morgan someone to hang out with.
I was hopeful that things would turn around when Kiki was recast because it seemed like there had been a slight shift in the character. Kiki showed glimmers of maturity when she tried to do the right thing for Avery, even if it wasn't easy. I admired her decision to take a step back and allow Sonny to take custody Avery, although I wasn't keen about Sonny raising the baby unless he stayed out of the mob. However, Sonny was -- at that time -- the lesser of two evils, since Kiki didn't have a job or any means of supporting her sister without Silas' help.
I was also impressed when Kiki talked sense into Morgan when Sonny asked him to spirit Avery out the country to Sonny's private island in Puerto Rico after Michael was awarded custody. Unfortunately, Kiki reverted to her old ways in the blink of an eye as soon as she returned to Port Charles with Morgan and Avery. Gone was the young woman who tried to see the big picture and make smart choices. In her place was the short-tempered, selfish person she was when she was first introduced way back when "Captain Morgan" incurred huge gambling debts.
I completely understand why Kiki wouldn't want Sabrina to be around Avery, but the truth is, Sabrina is not the horrible person Kiki paints her to be. What Sabrina did to Ava was wrong on every single level, but it came from a place of grief and pain. Ava, on the other hand, has done far worse things to scores more people without a smidgen of remorse. Ava was hardly a victim in that mess with Sabrina because Ava used Sabrina's tragedy with Gabriel to manipulate Carlos into taking the fall for a murder that Ava helped orchestrate.
In the end, Sabrina wasn't responsible for Avery's birth. That dubious honor fell to Nina and Madeline. Avery is alive and well, so all things considered, everything worked out. Sabrina made a horrible mistake and is trying to atone for that, which is something Ava never bothered to do. Not even Morgan seemed all that concerned about Sabrina caring for Avery, so Kiki sounds more like a ranting lunatic than a genuinely concerned sister when she screams at Sabrina.
Kiki and Morgan are far more apt to hurt Avery at this point than Sabrina is, especially if Tweedledee and Tweedledum go through with their plan to drug Michael to make him look like a raging alcoholic. Morgan hopes that reporting Michael to Child Services will force the judge to return Avery to Sonny, but the plot has more holes than a giant sieve.
To begin with, occasional intoxication does not an alcoholic/addict make. It's been well established -- even by Kiki -- that Michael rarely indulges in alcohol and is a complete lightweight. This fact was reinforced when we saw Michael nursing a hangover the morning after having a couple of cocktails at Metro Court Restaurant following his heated encounter with Duke.
As an aside, I cheered Michael on when he called Duke out on Duke's ever-shifting loyalty and friendship. Don't get me wrong -- I adore Duke, but he had no business lecturing Michael about decency after providing Sonny with an alibi for A.J.'s murder.
My other issue with Morgan and Kiki's nefarious scheme to discredit Michael is that it has the potential to go horribly and tragically wrong. It's incredibly dangerous to mix drugs and alcohol, even under the best of circumstances, which these most certainly will not be, since the plan is to find a drug which is adversely affected by alcohol.
Somehow, I doubt that Morgan and Kiki are prepared for the consequences of their actions should Michael get behind the wheel of car in a foggy haze. What if Michael kills himself or someone else -- their sister included -- as a result of Morgan and Kiki's desire to make Michael look like a drunk? The chances of things spiraling out of control are astronomical because Michael has an incredibly low alcohol tolerance, and this is a soap opera.
I'm also deeply troubled by Morgan's attitude toward Michael. Kiki has no real connection to Michael other than a relationship that started and ended with betrayal, so I get that her loyalty to Michael is exceedingly limited if nonexistent now that he hired Sabrina. However, Morgan is a different matter because Morgan and Michael are brothers. It sickens me to hear how hateful and angry Morgan is when he talks about Michael because it's obvious that there is a strong underlying current of jealousy and resentment fanning the flames of the hostility.
Morgan claims to be outraged that Michael betrayed Sonny, yet it wasn't that long ago when Morgan did far worse than take Sonny's child away from Sonny.
Morgan hated Sonny with such fervor that Morgan eagerly sided with Sonny's archenemies, the Jeromes, who intended to take Sonny down at any cost, even if it meant killing Sonny.
Throughout Morgan's war with Sonny, Michael tried very hard to be there for his brother, even opening his home to Morgan and putting up with Morgan's self-entitled attitude and lazy ways. Morgan did all the horrible things he did to Sonny because Morgan was hurt that Sonny was not a presence in Morgan's life growing up.
Oh, and for loving Michael more than Morgan.
Morgan's resentment continued to fester when he found out that Sonny had slept with Ava, so there were endless months when Morgan refused to give Sonny the time of day and used every opportunity to lash out at him in cruel and hurtful ways.
Yet, Michael tried his best to be there for Morgan and help Morgan get past the pain.
It's sad that Morgan can't offer Michael the same support and understanding that Michael had extended to Morgan during that dark period, especially since Michael's reasons for turning against Sonny are far more serious than Morgan's. Michael is grieving the loss of his biological father and the crushing blow of both Sonny and Carly's lies. Everyone Michael loved and trusted betrayed him, yet Morgan expects Michael to forgive and forget as if Sonny and Carly had simply fibbed to Michael about the Easter bunny being real when they knew it wasn't.
If there is any justice, Morgan and Kiki will be the ones who pay the ultimate price for the folly of putting someone in the precarious situation they intend to put Michael in.
Moving on, Molly made me laugh this week when she asked why Carly, Elizabeth, and even Alexis -- on occasion -- prostrated themselves for horrible men. I seem to recall T.J. being quite the troubled young man when Molly first met him, but Molly justified and forgave all his terrible choices.
Granted, T.J. is in a much better place right now, but Molly should be careful about casting stones from her little glass house.
I do have to give Molly major props, though, because she was exceedingly astute when she feared the possibility that her father would succumb to his pattern of obsessing over Elizabeth then doing something self-destructive. Molly certainly knows Ric well, but I'm afraid that by signing him up on a dating website, she inadvertently handed him the means to destroy any hope of salvaging his relationship with Liz.
I have absolutely no doubt that Ric is behind Jake's "wife" suddenly turning up on Liz's doorstep at the close of Friday's show. It has Ric's stink all over it, since we all know that Jake's real wife is Sam, not the woman portrayed by the stunning Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee Smyth, All My Children) who interrupted Jake and Liz's afternoon delight.
I'm not worried about the mystery wife's sudden appearance because Jake made it abundantly clear that he's very much into Liz. Not only was there an instant attraction to Liz, but he also felt a strong connection to her from the moment he laid eyes on her. Jake sees Liz as his future, so not even a fake wife will change that.
The only true threat to Jake and Liz's relationship is Sam, but she's very happily dating Patrick, so there's no telling how that will play out by the time the truth about Jake's identity is revealed. I think both Jake and Liz are going to see through this woman's claims -- or at the very least question them. They won't hold up under scrutiny because a simple fingerprint test will rule out whomever she claims Jake was "before" his appearance in Port Charles.
My hope is that when everything is said and done, Jake and Liz pick up where they left off at the bottom of the staircase. I really enjoyed their first date lunch, sipping on white cranberry apple juice and nibbling turkey sandwiches, as well as the crazy mad chemistry I saw sizzling between them when they kissed. I'm a sucker for romance, and right now, Jake and Liz's have that in spades.
I'm not sure what's going to happen when Jake's memories finally return, but I don't want him to change too much from the man he is right now. I like this incarnation of Jason because he's a genuinely nice guy who is incredibly easy to root for.
Sadly, someone I can't root too much for these days is Duke. Alas, as much as I love Duke, it appears that he's embraced his roots as a mobster. It's so sad to see because I'd had really high hopes for Duke and Anna. Instead, Duke has allowed his hatred for Julian to consume him, and he has embraced a life of crime and a relationship with wacky Lucy Coe.
My favorite moment this week was when Anna talked to Olivia about how Anna didn't have any sympathy for Sonny's plight with Avery because Anna had once made the heartbreaking sacrifice to distance herself from Robin by claiming to be a family friend in an effort to protect Robin from Anna's dangerous life as an international spy. I agree with Anna that Sonny should be grateful to Michael for stepping up to protect Avery from the violent life that Michael and his siblings were exposed to while growing up Corinthos.
I realize part of the reason Anna talked about the years she couldn't claim Robin as her daughter was to unwittingly drive the point home to Olivia that Olivia was doing the right thing by keeping the truth from Julian about the paternity of Olivia's unborn child.
I disagree with that, though, because I do think Julian deserves to know the truth. If Olivia didn't want to have a baby with Julian, then she shouldn't have had unprotected sex with him. However, telling Julian the truth and welcoming him to be a part of the baby's life when he's currently up to his neck, building a crime syndicate, are two different things. Like Sonny, I don't think Julian has any business raising a child if he's going to be surrounded by violence.
I'd have far more respect for Olivia if she just told Julian the truth then raised the baby with Ned. I think Ned and Olivia are perfect for each other, so I want to see them work out. That's less likely to happen if they start their relationship based on a lie -- one that Olivia appears to have conflicted feelings about.
If Julian wants to be a part of the baby's life, then he should leave the mob -- preferably before Carlos carries out the hit on Duke. Frankly, it would be fun to see Julian and Alexis work with Olivia and Ned to raise the child together. Blended families can succeed and even flourish if everyone makes an effort to do what is best for the child and/or children.
Finally, the most satisfying scenes this week were the two wonderful moments when Spinelli was hit by near-knockout punches, compliments of Sonny and then Nathan. They were each richly deserved, even if one was accidental.
Spinelli thought that by challenging Nathan to a few rounds of boxing, Spinelli would be able to showcase his ability to be a worthy mate to Maxie. Did Spinelli not get the memo that he's a human being not an actual jackal? Maxie doesn't need a mate; she needs a partner. Someone who respects her, stands by her side, and offers her the emotional support she needs to become a stronger person in her own right.
Unfortunately, Nathan reluctantly accepted Spinelli's foolish challenge to a duel in the boxing ring, which means Nathan will incur the brunt of Maxie's wrath, since Maxie believes that Nathan shouldn't have gone anywhere near poor defenseless Spinelli. If her reaction to seeing Spinelli sprawled out on the mat in the boxing ring is anything to go by, she will view Spinelli as the victim and Nathan as the bully who took advantage of him.
I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. It's for that reason I'm happy that both Sonny and Nathan got in a couple of shots that dazed Spinelli. Now, let's just hope the two blows knocked some sense into Spinelli.
Why would anyone in their right mind put candles out on a table at a children's party where a gaggle of ten-year-olds are hopped-up on sugar and dancing? If anyone is to blame for that fire, it's Nikolas for not only putting lit candles all over the room filled with paper decorations but not having the foresight to have a few fire extinguishers handy in case a candle tipped over and caught the place on fire.
Michael should have known that Rosalie was lying about working with the IT department to update Michael's communications system when he saw that circa 1990 telephone/intercom setup on her desk at ELQ.
This might be somewhat unpopular, but I like Franco and Nina as a couple. Ideally, Alexis will find a way to get them both out of Shadybrook because they are in desperate need of a change of scenery and a new wardrobe. If Carlos and Sonny can get out of jail for their crimes, then I don't see any reason that Franco shouldn't. After all, he did keep Avery safe during Nina's little sojourn into insanity during the kidnapping.
After getting dumped, Ric decides to drown his sorrows at Carly's restaurant
Ric: "I need a drink. Where the hell's the bartender?"
Carly: "You're looking at her."
Ric: [Sighs] "This day just gets better and better, doesn't it?"
Carly: "Aw, poor Ric. Who got on your bad side this time?"
Ric: "Oh, everybody's new best friend, Jake Doe."
Carly: "So, what did Jake do to ruffle your delicate, little feathers?"
Ric: "Oh, I forgot. I'm with the head of the Jake Fan Club."
Michael makes an excellent observation while talking to Duke about Sonny
Duke: "The only reason he lost your sister is because you brought in a corrupt judge."
Michael: "You mean the one who wasn't in his pocket."
Spinelli runs into Sonny at Volonino's gym and sees Sonny hitting a punching bag
Spinelli: "Most excellent technique! Although, as an uninitiated adherent to the brutal but elegant art of pugilism, I may not be the best judge."
Sonny: "You still haven't learned how to speak English."
Sonny: [Smiles] "Come here, you baby-faced bastard."
Jake asks Carly to lower her voice because he doesn't want everyone to hear his business
Carly: "I'm sure Sonny would have been a lot more accepting of our friendship if he knew the reason you were working with Julian is because Sloane coerced you into it."
Jake: "'Coercion.' That's such an ugly word."
Carly: "What would you call dangling those charges over your head, forcing you to go undercover for him?"
Jake: [Whispers loudly] "Could you please not broadcast my secret to the entire breakfast crowd?" What are your thoughts on General Hospital? Share your thoughts on the show or this week's column with us. Leave your comments in the Comments area further down the page. If you prefer, you can click here to send our columnist a note by Feedback. You can also call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts.